Using Uhaul To Install Hitch?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Using Uhaul To Install Hitch?

    I need to get a hitch installed on my new Jeep compass. I see that Uhaul does this and was wondering if anyone has used them and if they do a good job and use quality materials? I know every location will be a bit different as far as workmanship goes.

  2. #2
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    Used them in the past with no problem.

  3. #3
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    I had a hitch installed on my Ford windstar mini van. They had some kid back the van into the bay onto a ramp with the rear up in the air. He didnt apply the parking brake and it rolled off and out into the parking lot. Thankfully it didnt hit anything or anyone. Thats how it started. 4 hours later, told me they had trouble with the wiring but "figured it out". I leave, shortly afterwards Im driving on the highway all of the dummy lights on the dash suddenly illuminate, the radio made a horrible high pitched whistling sound, and the entire dash cut out. No power at all. No gauges, lights, no blinkers nothing. Surprisingly it stayed running. Apparently they managed to short out the entire interior electrical system. Being a work van it wasnt worth fixing and we settled it out of court. Word of advice. Do some research on your local uhaul branch before using them. It can save you alot of trouble. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    I used them about 20 years ago for a hitch on a VW Golf and then a few months back for a 1999 Outback. Both came out fine.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  5. #5
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    Check out the difficulty level and instructions at Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com

    Some of them are REALLY easy..... My son did his first(Land Rover LR3) when he was 14...

    Great prices @Amazon too.... http://amzn.to/1oIrNpb

    Quote Originally Posted by gmurrpa View Post
    I need to get a hitch installed on my new Jeep compass. I see that Uhaul does this and was wondering if anyone has used them and if they do a good job and use quality materials? I know every location will be a bit different as far as workmanship goes.

  6. #6
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    Did mine by myself, was pretty easy except instructions were not explicit on one point, making me redo part of the install.
    2 sets of hands would be best (I struggled to get the hitch in place before securing a bolt) - but it is not a technically challenging install.
    Look up videos of the installation on etrailer.com
    It is basically 4 bolts into existing holes...about a 1 out of 10 on the difficulty scale.
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  7. #7
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    Yep, last time I put one on, it was very easy. It was a 1/2 ton SUV, so it was all pre-drilled and stuff. There are websites that will tell you if your vehicle is an easy install or not. But I have generally heard good stuff about Uhaul as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tystevens View Post
    Yep, last time I put one on, it was very easy. It was a 1/2 ton SUV, so it was all pre-drilled and stuff. There are websites that will tell you if your vehicle is an easy install or not. But I have generally heard good stuff about Uhaul as well.
    The big difference in DIY is a savings of $300-$400

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    The big difference in DIY is a savings of $300-$400
    Must depend on the vehicle, because the hitch on mine from U-Haul was $248 out the door (installation, tax, etc), which was only ~$75 more than if I ordered one from someplace like etrailer.com.

    But you are right that it can be a really easy install. Were it not winter and having no good place to work on my car at the time, I would have done it myself.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    The big difference in DIY is a savings of $300-$400
    ...And how two different uHauls by me have f'd up the last 3 hitches they did for my group of friends. I'm a fan of the eTrailer. Helped (ok, more like watched my friend install one and that's what I'll be purchasing.

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    I've experienced them scratching the crap out of my paint on a brand new SUV, and claiming they would have to splice my wiring harness for the trailer wires when I knew damn well there was a plug in adapter specific to my vehicle that they sold, but didn't have in stock. My vote is no. Poor workmanship.

  12. #12
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    I've been in automotive for a long time, and have seen tons of bad work. It almost always comes from quick oil change places, uhauls, or budget independent shops.

    Kids making 8 bucks an hour tend to do bad work. If you can't put the hitch on yourself, you won't know if they did a good job until it's way too late. The way uhaul splices wires causes tons of problems a few years down the road. By the time it causes issues, your labor warranty is gone... Then you're paying me a grand to fix it!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    Check out the difficulty level and instructions at Trailer Hitch | etrailer.com

    Some of them are REALLY easy..... My son did his first(Land Rover LR3) when he was 14...

    Great prices @Amazon too.... http://amzn.to/1oIrNpb


    This is great advice.

    After installing one on my Titan, in a matter of minutes I thought they would all be like that.

    However, my wife wanted a rack on the back of her VW Jetta....was kind of a pain in the ass, even watching the installation video and studying the instructions. Took me 2x the time that they claimed it should.

    We sold that car and bought a VW Golf Wagon....even worse than the Jetta. Required quite a bit of removing body parts and panels, plus modifications. When this car was totaled in an accident a few months later....I refused to install a hitch on the Passat she got.


    Moral of the story is do your homework.
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  14. #14
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    I had U-Haul put one on a car twenty years ago that went well. The last two hitches I put on myself - a Hidden Hitch on my wife's Toyota Highlander, and a stock Ford hitch on my F-150 Lightning. If you're good at following directions and have a socket set and a friend that will help give you a third hand, you can save some money and be assured that the hitch was put on right.

  15. #15
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    I would stay away from U-haul. I'm sure some branches are great, but customer service just isn't consistent enough to trust any of them.

    Recommend DIY, or a mechanic you trust.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    However, my wife wanted a rack on the back of her VW Jetta....was kind of a pain in the ass, even watching the installation video and studying the instructions. Took me 2x the time that they claimed it should.
    In the DIY auto-realm, that's actually pretty good, time-wise. I usually count on at least 2x what it usually says, because inevitably you'll be searching around for some tool it didn't specify or that you thought you had, etc.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbikej View Post
    This is great advice.

    After installing one on my Titan, in a matter of minutes I thought they would all be like that.

    However, my wife wanted a rack on the back of her VW Jetta....was kind of a pain in the ass, even watching the installation video and studying the instructions. Took me 2x the time that they claimed it should.

    We sold that car and bought a VW Golf Wagon....even worse than the Jetta. Required quite a bit of removing body parts and panels, plus modifications. When this car was totaled in an accident a few months later....I refused to install a hitch on the Passat she got.


    Moral of the story is do your homework.
    The desire to tow with a passenger car is so low that mfg's don't bother with designing a receiver for most models. When they do, it tends to be a very low capacity hitch that's useless for towing, so no need to attach to structural rails. This makes a bit more work for installing a real receiver from a receiver mfg, like drilling through structural rails.

    The majority of SUV's and Trucks come from the factory with a receiver installed, so even when one isn't, the mounting points are there, even captured nuts, because it's cheaper to have the guy on the line that installs the nuts to put them into every frame than to check the build sheet.

    Another issue is there isn't a lot of room between the bumper and chassis (and bumper and ground) with cars, so the mfg's often have to use tighter turns, tighter tolerances, and additional bracing. $$$

    You can get a good idea of the quality of work you'll get from a U-Haul by looking at their vehicles. Except for new trucks, they tend to be in a state of disrepair. I've never been about to roll out with a truck or dolly without having them fix something, and the one long-distance move I did resulted in a blown radiator hose. I've used them in three states, and it's obvious to me that they do zero preventative maintenance. They are a lazy company, with lazy employees that do the minimum they can get by with. There's a reason they are the cheapest receiver installer. You can go to the guy that's installed receivers for 20 years, or the kid that was shown once a few months back.
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  18. #18
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    Overall, I would not suggest Uhaul.
    The main place in PHX seems legit. If there is not a hitch available for your vehicle, they will build one for you free of charge. Obviously, their niche is that they end up making money on it.
    Only reason I would consider going, is that they do not make a hitch for my Jeep Comanche, and it would be done for free. But, in my experience Most of Arizona fails at life in general so no thanks!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    The desire to tow with a passenger car is so low that mfg's don't bother with designing a receiver for most models. When they do, it tends to be a very low capacity hitch that's useless for towing, so no need to attach to structural rails. This makes a bit more work for installing a real receiver from a receiver mfg, like drilling through structural rails.

    The majority of SUV's and Trucks come from the factory with a receiver installed, so even when one isn't, the mounting points are there, even captured nuts, because it's cheaper to have the guy on the line that installs the nuts to put them into every frame than to check the build sheet.

    Another issue is there isn't a lot of room between the bumper and chassis (and bumper and ground) with cars, so the mfg's often have to use tighter turns, tighter tolerances, and additional bracing. $$$

    You can get a good idea of the quality of work you'll get from a U-Haul by looking at their vehicles. Except for new trucks, they tend to be in a state of disrepair. I've never been about to roll out with a truck or dolly without having them fix something, and the one long-distance move I did resulted in a blown radiator hose. I've used them in three states, and it's obvious to me that they do zero preventative maintenance. They are a lazy company, with lazy employees that do the minimum they can get by with. There's a reason they are the cheapest receiver installer. You can go to the guy that's installed receivers for 20 years, or the kid that was shown once a few months back.

    Fortunately, I didn't have to do any drilling.....both receivers mounted up to existing holes. However I did have to trim away some of the rear fascia on the Golf Wagon, but it was hidden away underneath the vehicle.
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  20. #20
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    If your car is easy then go with E-trailer, otherwise I've not had a complaint on the two cars I've had Uhaul install hitches on. More expensive than doing it yourself, but what would you expect?
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  21. #21
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    I'd do it myself. I don't trust anybody else with my vehicles. Especially some drop out working at a U-Haul store. But I've been both an auto mechanic and millwright in past careers so things like this come easy to me.
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  22. #22
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    I know a lot of people say not to get your hitch from Uhaul but Iíve had several done by them and the biggest reason is the warranty. I bought a hitch several years ago for a Honda Fit, while working in West Virginia and had it for several years and it began to rust. Took it to my local Uhaul, they checked their computer and replaced it at no charge to me. That might be something to think about.

  23. #23
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    I've installed 3 or 4. For the most part, the hitch usually only required 4 or 6 bolts. Very simple if you have someone to help hold it up. An impact wrench also makes things very quick.

    The electrical part is typically what requires more work. Your car may be mostly prewired for a trailer, which will make things easy if you buy a factory kit. If you don't have that, then one of the kits that lets you just plug in to your taillights works well in most cases and doesn't require much if any splicing. You need to know in advance though if your trailer needs a 7 pin or 4 pin plug and what will be required for that to work with your vehicle. Once you adding things like brake controllers, aux power, etc... it gets more complicated.

  24. #24
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    Let me edit my suggestion by stating that Iíve had Uhaul install my trailer hitches on cars that wouldnít normally have a hitch. So we never needed anything wired. One Honda Civic, two Honda Fits and my wifeís Honda CRV. We only installed them because we wanted to use trailer-based bike/cargo carriers. We never intended to tow anything. All of mine were installed in about 30-45 minutes. Iím certain there are better places that have more knowledge but Uhaul always had my mount in stock and itís literally bolt-on so if you want to do it yourself Iím sure you can.

  25. #25
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    After installing my hitch on my Forester, I'd suggest doing it yourself. It was four bolts and the only part that was a pain was needing to drop my muffler. That was really only tough because I was doing it myself and had to set up jackstands to hold the muffler. If I had a second pair of hands it'd be that much easier. As far as wiring, I lucked out as the Forester comes set up for towing and I just needed to get the plug and play adapter (which I bought years after installing the hitch because I bought the hitch initially for the bike rack).
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  26. #26
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    I was recently in the same boat, needed a hitch installed on a Volvo XC60, I was reluctant to use uhaul, but I ended up going there and kind of keeping my fingers crossed, and after everything was said and done I came away super impressed, the guy that did the work seemed really knowledgeable, and did the work very carefully.
    I don't know if this is the case at all locations but where I went the guy's full time job was just installing hitch's and he seemed to take pride in his work, so I would totally recommend them.

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    the hitch would not be that tough. wiring the connector so you can run lights on the trailers are a different story.

  28. #28
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    I installed a hitch on my 2002 BMW 530. I had to drill the floor where the spare tires goes and remove the rear bumper cover. No big deal if you know how to work on cars. I never bothered with wiring because the I did not want to tow, Just mount the bike rack.

    I did the same to a brand new volvo XC70. This was easier since I did not need to drill. Just remove the rear bumper cover and bumper and bolted it on. I did have to do some minor plastic trimming. Again I did not do the wiring since I don't have any plans now to tow.

    I order both trailer hitches on line for about $150 each. Both were made by Curt.
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  29. #29
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    Did they have to cut away any part of the bumper or make any changes to the body? I want to get a hitch on our 2016 XC60. Volvo charges $$$ and cuts a hole in the bumper, just want to make sure whatever is done looks nice. If you have a pic, that would be awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by trener1 View Post
    I was recently in the same boat, needed a hitch installed on a Volvo XC60, I was reluctant to use uhaul, but I ended up going there and kind of keeping my fingers crossed, and after everything was said and done I came away super impressed, the guy that did the work seemed really knowledgeable, and did the work very carefully.
    I don't know if this is the case at all locations but where I went the guy's full time job was just installing hitch's and he seemed to take pride in his work, so I would totally recommend them.

  30. #30
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    Nope, nothing was cut, yeah I know all about the Volvo fee, I think the dealer quoted me $1k, I practically laughed in his face.
    One note I did not have them install any of the wiring since I have no plans to ever haul a trailer, I don't know if that would affect the need to cut.
    I will try and take a pic and post it later.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    the hitch would not be that tough. wiring the connector so you can run lights on the trailers are a different story.

    On my 2004 X3 I used this bolt on hitch and this kit, Curt 56146 SMD Trailer Wire Converter. Very good directions.

    Total cost was about $150, approx $900 lower than the dealer quote.

    Wiring was super easy as the battery is in the trunk.

    Using Uhaul To Install Hitch?-81d-me2fznl._sl1500_.jpg

  32. #32
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    Here is a photo, I hope this helps

    Using Uhaul To Install Hitch?-rac.jpg

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    Nope, nothing was cut, yeah I know all about the Volvo fee, I think the dealer quoted me $1k, I practically laughed in his face.
    One note I did not have them install any of the wiring since I have no plans to ever haul a trailer, I don't know if that would affect the need to cut.
    I will try and take a pic and post it later.

    Quote Originally Posted by gd1107 View Post
    Did they have to cut away any part of the bumper or make any changes to the body? I want to get a hitch on our 2016 XC60. Volvo charges $$$ and cuts a hole in the bumper, just want to make sure whatever is done looks nice. If you have a pic, that would be awesome

  34. #34
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    There's a local place by me that does hitches. I'll be getting a hitch on my Fit this spring, and will most likely use them. If they do custom hitches, I'm going to see if I can get a 2" receiver so I can use the Kuat rack I have already.

    My wife's Crosstrek has a 2" Ecohitch that uses the bumper cutout on the car. Oddly enough, the Subaru receiver doesn't use that cutout, and cost a LOT more than even the fairly expensive Ecohitch. We paid one of the Subaru mechanics to install it for us on his own time, which I'm glad for, because installing that hitch required removing several bumper parts as well as dropping the exhaust. It's a SUPER tight fit in there. I don't even have jack stands to lift a vehicle to make that kind of work easier. And, my garage is not a pleasant place to do that kind of work, either.

    I don't trust Uhaul with ANYTHING. I agree that their trucks are horribly maintained. The only thing I've done is rent trailers from them...because for trailers there's often no other option. But I have had great experience with Penske trucks. A friend of mine used a Uhaul truck for an in-state move (Michigan), and their truck dropped a major drivetrain part on the road in the middle of the night. Uhaul was ZERO help for them. They got another truck from a competitor, moved their crap between the two (in the dark), and left the Uhaul truck there until the next day, when Uhaul would actually be available to do anything about it.

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    perfect! thanks. i'm gonna schedule my install now and order new rack

  36. #36
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    My Uhaul hitch receiver has been solid for going on 5 years. They did a great job on the install, and cost was about same as getting one and doing it myself. Would go with them again. I did peel off the ugly stickers though. Looks much better now.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by stremf View Post
    My Uhaul hitch receiver has been solid for going on 5 years. They did a great job on the install, and cost was about same as getting one and doing it myself. Would go with them again. I did peel off the ugly stickers though. Looks much better now.
    Uhaul did a great job on mine as well. I picked the place with the best reviews within 30 miles of me though.

    One thing I heard is that if you take off the sticker with the warnings, the one on the right, it will void any warranty you have. I did take the uhaul one off though.
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  38. #38
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    but would you trust them if they were just doing the hitch mount and no wiring?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by captnpenguin View Post
    but would you trust them if they were just doing the hitch mount and no wiring?
    Sure, maybe, but show them the Amazon prices and see if they'll match.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I don't trust Uhaul with ANYTHING. I agree that their trucks are horribly maintained.
    Ditto on that, I rented a truck to bring stuff from the Bay Area to Sacramento in August.

    The AC didn't work(didn't think to check in Palo Alto) 105F almost all the way and it ran out of gas with 1/4 showing on the gauge, at rush hour, on busy Howe Ave, *&%&^$)&^*!!!

  40. #40
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    I'll likely be using them this weekend because the difference in price for the hitch (on etrailer) is about $15 with install being $40. I don't have all the tools or space and really the help to do it myself on a Honda Civic, which creates a problem. I called up a local shop that came highly recommended, but their total quote was about $120 more than what Uhaul quoted me, so it seems like a no brainer with the lifetime warranty .

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmtz View Post
    I'll likely be using them this weekend because the difference in price for the hitch (on etrailer) is about $15 with install being $40. I don't have all the tools or space and really the help to do it myself on a Honda Civic, which creates a problem. I called up a local shop that came highly recommended, but their total quote was about $120 more than what Uhaul quoted me, so it seems like a no brainer with the lifetime warranty .
    There is a reason for that 120 difference. Be ready for problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    There is a reason for that 120 difference. Be ready for problems.


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    If I can buy a hitch myself for $120, installation for $200 doesn't add up no matter where you go. I'm also talking about a 1 1/4 hitch on a Honda Civic without any wiring, not a massive SUV setup. A friend with the same car recommended it and races professionally, while others I know haven't given me a single complaint with Uhaul.
    Last edited by danmtz; 04-18-2018 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Forgot to quote

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by danmtz View Post
    If I can buy a hitch myself for $120, installation for $200 doesn't add up no matter where you go. I'm also talking about a 1 1/4 hitch on a Honda Civic without any wiring, not a massive SUV setup. A friend with the same car recommended it and races professionally, while others I know haven't given me a single complaint with Uhaul.
    lmao. I wouldn't trust uhaul to scratch their own asses without messing it up.

    $200 for installation most certainly does add up. I'd rather pay a skilled tech what they're worth for their time than to have anyone at uhaul even look at my stuff.

  44. #44
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    I know this post is years old, but with latest posts just a day old, i just have to say, i installed my 2 inch Curt hitch from etrailer on my 2013 Xterra myself a couple of weekends ago (patting myself on the back). $132, free shipping, no tax. Recommendation was to drop the muffler, but i left it up. I did remove the spare tire. Resting the hitch on my chest, i worked it up and laid one side on top of the muffler, quickly got one bolt on the opposite side, then lifted off the muffler and bolted it to other side. Six bolts in all. One bolt took forever to ratchet tight because i did not remove the muffler, but it was fine.

    I'll torque the bolts again in a few weeks. The new Kuat Transfer 2 works great btw.

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  45. #45
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    Why would anyone pay for a hitch install. They are vehicle specific and any one is easy to install yourself in under an hour if you have a set of wrenches and can type in search box on google if its not already straight forward enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Why would anyone pay for a hitch install.
    I understand what you're saying, but lots of reasons. Lack of confidence, lack of simple tools, lack of time, or choosing to prioritize other things like family. others have noted small cars need more work, that it's not a simple bolt-on application. I don't know. I guess I'm/we're lucky in those aspects. I know how to change the oil in my car, but these days, choose to have someone do it for $19. Less mess, less fuss.

    btw, cool LED lights

    eric
    fresno, ca.

  47. #47
    Rollin' a fatty Moderator
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    Had done two installs @ Uhaul, both came out good but didn't do lights on any of them.

    My son recently got a Passat and is looking into a hitch for the bike rack he already owns, I'm hesitant due to the need to remove some parts and improvise a little. I'm trying to get him to get a roof rack and only use it when needed because he spends a lot of driving time in the highway killing his MPGs.

  48. #48
    mtbr member
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    I had Uhaul do the one on my truck.
    I had fully intended to do it until they told me it was cheap. Sure, go for it! The 2 of them had it installed quicker than I could have driven home with the hitch. I mean I already had to go there to pick it up, what's another 15 minutes to wait.

    In my case, for the pickup, the bumper needed to be removed. Far easier than a car still. But for either $40 or $50, I choose to have them do it. I connected the wire module though.

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